Edit: The 12 Days of ChristMASS competition is over. Thanks for reading and be on the lookout for any future competitions.
To track or not to track
Whether or not you should count your macros over the holidays (probably should have covered this before Thanksgiving. Oops.), depends on your goals. If you are competing in a weight class sport and have a competition within the next month or so, I hate to say it, but you don't have a choice. If you don't have a competition until May or June, you have a lot more leeway. The same logic applies if you have an event you are trying to lose weight for.
For the vast majority of people, you aren't competing so the question for you becomes, "am I okay with gaining weight because of Christmas dinner?" If yes, you don't have to track. If no, you probably need to track. Just remember, if you choose to go hog wild at the dinner table, you are going to gain some fat in the process.
How to track
There is one problem for those who choose to track. How in the world do we know what is in the food we eat on Christmas? If you're like a lot of people, you go to a family dinner where 90% or more of the food is homemade. There's no way that you can be in every family members' kitchen at once, following them around measuring and weighing everything they cook. Because of this, you have to estimate. Use a macro tracking app such as MyFitnessPal or MyMacros+ to find those food items, use the macros you find, and add a buffer of 20%. What I mean is, if you have 1 serving of mashed potatoes, treat it as if you had 1.2.
Tips to keep it inside the lines
- Most of the foods that are typically associated with Christmas are very Calorie dense and can add up quickly. If you plan to eat a lot at dinner, eat less leading up to it and eat less afterwards as well to account for the extra food you consumed. This goes for both those who are tracking and those who aren't.
- Eat slowly. You've probably been told this your entire life and for good reason. There's a delayed response between when our stomachs are actually full and when our brains tell us we are full. If you just slow down a little bit you will still get full and eat a lot less Calories in the process (and probably save yourself a stomach ache as well).
- Select what you put on your plate more carefully. If there are grilled, boiled, or steamed options, fill most of your plate with those because they are lower in Calories. If that's not an option, simply don't go back for seconds. (This one comes from the How To Make Healthy Choices In The Real World article.
The main thing is to just understand what you're getting yourself into. If you choose to pig out, keep in mind how much extra work you're going to have to do to get back to where you were BEFORE the holidays arrived.
Thanks for reading! At the end of the 12 days of ChristMASS, I am giving away a $100 Amazon gift card! There are multiple ways to enter. The following things will give you one entry each:
- Like the Treadaway Training Faceboook page.
- Share the Treadaway Training Facebook post containing any 12 days of ChristMASS article.
- Like any 12 days of ChristMASS post on Facebook.
- Tag 3 people on any 12 days of ChristMASS Facebook post.
- Repost any 12 days of ChristMASS intagram post (and tag me so I can see it).
This gives you 5 possible entries each day with 1 additional entry for liking the Facebook Page. God Bless and I'll see you tomorrow for the 12 Days of ChristMASS Day 8!